Speech by CE at MoU Signing Ceremony between HK PolyU and Royal College of Art on establishing Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory (English only) (with photos/video)


     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony between the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Royal College of Art on establishing the Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory today (February 26):

Dr Lam (Council Chairman of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Dr Lam Tai-fai), Professor Chan (Interim President of PolyU, Professor Philip Chan), Dr Thompson (Vice Chancellor of the Royal College of Art, Dr Paul Thompson), Professor Barfield (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost of the Royal College of Art, Professor Naren Barfield), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon.  It is my pleasure to join you today at the signing ceremony between the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Royal College of Art for establishing the Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory in Hong Kong.

     Technology innovation can help improve product design as well as service delivery.  Nowadays, the application of augmented reality (AR) as a virtual fitting room provides an enjoyable shopping experience.  The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in conducting quality checks before product launch to market, and customer behaviour analysis at backend, also facilitate the design and production of products to cater for customers of different taste and style, which in turn leads to a personalised and sustainable industry.
     I am therefore very glad that the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Royal College of Art, both of which are renowned institutions in art and design, will build on the work of their existing interdisciplinary research at the interface of design and technology, and further their co-operation for the benefit of society.  The strategic partnership will integrate and enhance the development of the relevant research fields.  It will also help nurture more local talent in multiple disciplines in the pursuit of real-world challenges, and transform research into practical application.
     Developing Hong Kong into an innovation and technology (I&T) hub has been a priority policy area of my Government, and since I assumed office in July 2017 we have devoted significant resources of over $78 billion to strengthen Hong Kong's I&T ecosystem and stimulate research and development (R&D) activities.  I have set out eight major areas to step up efforts in promoting innovation and technology at the beginning of my term, and some significant measures have already been put in place.  For example, a super tax deduction of up to 300 per cent for R&D expenditure incurred by private enterprises has taken effect from the current tax year.  We have launched the Technology Talent Admission Scheme to facilitate talent admission from outside Hong Kong and the Technology Talent Scheme comprising the Postdoctoral Hub Programme and the Re-industrialisation and Technology Training Programme to nurture local talents.
     To enhance our research and development capability, we strive to strengthen collaboration with top-notch scientific research institutions in the world.  We have set aside $10 billion for setting up two research clusters in the Hong Kong Science Park – one for healthcare technologies, namely the Health@InnoHK cluster; the other for AI and robotics technologies, that is the AIR@InnoHK cluster.  Through this initiative, we can capitalise on the strengths of our local universities and attract world-acclaimed universities and research institutions to collaborate with us.  I am very encouraged by the overwhelming response from the global research community. 
     I believe the collaborative team of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Royal College of Art will find in Hong Kong the appeal of time-tested legal system, robust intellectual property protection, strong financial sector that could support commercialisation of R&D results, as well as the distinctive "East-meets-West" culture which sparks creative inspiration.  I wish the collaboration a great success.
     Thank you very much.

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